Friday, August 3, 2012

The Highway to Heaven

I am a directionally-challenged individual.  I can get lost in a box, and even if I successfully find my way to my destination, I may not find my way back easily.  Road names are important to me as a matter of travel survival.   Therefore, I do not readily appreciate the existence of Village Road, Village Road East, Village Road West, and New Village Road, all in West Windsor Township, New Jersey.  I am still trying to understand what those same municipal minds have done with Meadow Road.

It is even worse when the same road has multiple names.  In Princeton, a mere 3-mile stretch of road has numerous names.  In my own small town of Plainsboro, Edgemere Ave. becomes Dey Rd.  This makes for real frustration and confusion for the unititated.

Sometimes, though, there is a good reason for a road to have multiple names.  A major road may be identified by a county or state number but have more “personalized” names as it goes from town to town.  While the highway remains the route to your destination, the street name as it passes through a town tells you that it is time to slow down and perhaps stretch your legs and look for a meal.  It seems to me that this phenomenon can help us to understand an important spiritual concept.

As the women of Perisseia have learned, truth is at the heart of who God is and must be at the heart of who we are and who we are becoming.  With the foundation of truth in place, God can then sanctify us and grow us into the people He has created us to be.  Growth and sanctification often include Godly and gracious confrontation, confession and repentance, forgiveness, perseverance through trials, and practicing appropriate boundaries.  None of these elements of Christian growth is possible without truth.

This is where the analogy of road names comes in.  The highway to heaven could appropriately be named Truth.  As we travel the Highway of Truth toward heaven, though, we may find ourselves in areas with reduced speed limits and local names—names like Confrontation, Confession and Repentance, Forgiveness, Perseverance, and Boundaries.  If we are to learn, grow, and mature in our faith—so that we are able to reach our destination—it is imperative that we remain on the highway of Truth but also observe the reduced speed limits of the slower sections and take advantage of what they offer us on our journey.  Too often we want to hurry and find a detour around these difficult sections, but if we do so, by ignoring, avoiding, or suppressing the truth that is to be found in them, we will find we have left the Highway and become hopelessly lost.  If we patiently persevere, though, we will successfully cover important ground and remain on the Highway of Truth. 

May we faithfully travel the Highway of Truth, resist detours when it becomes slower and less pleasant, and encourage one another to do the same.